Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is likely to ban the manufacture and sale of the Pan Masala and Gutka in the state.
The Yogi Adityanath government has already banned the use of pan masala and tobacco products in the state secretariat and all other buildings of the state government.
Health Minister Siddarthnath Singh said here today that the present government has already taken a very serious view of the consumption of the two products and its ill effects on the health of the common people.
He said very soon the state government would take the measures for closing the factories manufacturing gutka and pan masala in the state. Soon after taking over as the chief minister on March 19, Mr Adityanath had banned consumption of pan and gutka in all government offices in the state.
The CM took the decision after inspection of the secretariat annexxe building housing the chief minister’s office in March. The CM was furious when he came across the spotting rust-coloured stains of pan or betel and pan masala on stairs of the secretariat.
Following the orders of the Allahabad high court the sale and manufacturing of the pan masala and tobacco mixed Gutka has already been banned in the state. Despite the ban both the products were being manufactured and marketed in the state.
The previous Akhilesh Yadav government in October 2012 had imposed ban on gutka which is pan masala mixed with tobacco, as per the order of the Allahabad high court order and the Food Security Act passed by the parliament. Though the courts order was to be effective from April 1, 2013, the state government had then said that six months time has been given to find other source of employment for the people rendered jobless by the ban.
The Allahabad high court had in September 2012 had directed the UP government to restrain manufacturing, sale and distribution of ‘gutkha’ in the state. The court had passed the order as per the provisions of the Food Safety Act, while disposing a public interest litigation filed by Indian Dental Association. As many as 13 states in the country have already imposed a ban on the sale of gutkha as this commodity is the root cause for the oral cancer which has increased manifold in last few years.
The state government was earlier reluctant to ban gutkha because of the massive revenue earnings through sales which is over Rs 300 crore. The gutkha has so far been banned in Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
This has been done in accordance with the Food Security Act.According to an estimate, some 2.5 lakh people are struggling with cancer in UP. Of this, 75,000 are cases of oral and mouth cancer, mainly due to tobacco chewing and use of gutka and pan masala in UP, chewing tobacco mainly through gutka, raw tobacco, and pan masala are the causes of oral cancers.